Glentoran FC

The Official website of Glentoran Football Club / Pride of East Belfast 



Dungannon Swifts 0-1 Glentoran

Tue, 23/08/2022 - 23:58

There were a couple of changes to the starting line up this evening from the team which defeated Crusaders at the Bet McLean Oval last Friday night. PaddyMcClean was in from the start, partnering Aiden Wilson at the centre of the defence whilst Shay McCartan came in for Sean Murray. 

The Glens almost opened the scoring in the opening minute! A long ball forward from Aiden Wilson broke for Bobby Burns and he went for goal from around 25 yards but unfortunately his effort was just wide of the post. On 11 minutes Burns was involved again, this time finding Rory Donnelly on the left. Donnelly got to the by-line and cut the ball back towards Shay McCartan. As Brendan Barr tackled McCartan the ball broke back to Rory Donnelly who was then crudely taken down by Dean Curry. Referee Declan Hassan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. However the referee then went across to speak to his assistant, surrounded by the majority of the home side. After a lengthy discussion the linesman raised his flag for an apparent offside and the referee awarded Dungannon Swifts a free kick. The whole incident depends on whether the ball came off McCartan or Barr before Donnelly regained possession. Certainly the TV footage is inconclusive.

On the quarter hour mark a superb ball into the area by Shay McCartan picked out Jay Donnelly. He ontrolled the ball beautifully and knocked it past the defender before being impeded. Again the Glentoran appeals for a spot kick were waved away by Mr Hassan. The home side had their first effort on goal on 19 minutes. Rhyss Campbell set up the chance for Joseph McCready but the big number 9 hooked his effort well over the bar. Both sides then went through a period of around 20 minutes without creating any real opportunities. Then 7 minutes from the break a James Knowles free kick played into the Glentoran penalty area was only partially cleared and Ben Gallagher was able to turn it towards goal. Aaron McCarey was well positioned though and made a comfortable save. 

On 40 minutes Conor McMenamin was yet again the victim of a late challenge. It happened several times in the game as it did in our opening couple of league fixtures. Glentoran's Northern Ireland international seems to be becoming a bit of a target from opposition players and certainly deserves a bit more protection from the match officials. The resulting free kick almost resulted in the opening goal with Aiden Wilson just failing to get a touch on the ball, right in front of goal. There was one final chance in the half for the Glens when Jay Donnelly got clear on the left. His cross just evaded Marcus Kane but fell perfectly for Rory Donnelly. Rory couldn't have struck the ball any better but was denied by a superb save from Swifts' keeper, Declan Dunne.

Halftime: Dungannon Swifts 0-0 Glentoran

The Glens had a chance in the opening minute of the second half when keeper Dunne picked up a backpass and referee Hassan awarded an indirect free kick on the edge of the 6-yard box. With so many players in such a small area it's virtually impossible to get a decent strike on goal and so it proved agan here. Paddy McClean did really well to block a shot from Ben Gallagher on the edge of the area before, at the other end a quick free kick from Shay McCartan caught out the home defence and presented a chance for Jay Donnelly. Donnelly's shot was on target but again Declan Dunne came to the rescue of the Swifts, turning the ball behind for a corner.

On 68 minutes Conor McMenamin was again on the end of a poor tackle; this time James Knowles was the culprit. Shay McCartan took the free kick but his 25-yard effort deflected off the defensive wall and behind for yet another corner. As the minutes ticked by the visiting support were becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of clear cut chances but also the extensive time wasting from Dungannon Swifts. Paddy McClean tried his luck from range but his effort was well over the bar. Swifts' substitute, Ruairi McDonald tried to curl an effort into the top corner from outside the area but Aaron McCarey was able to watch it go wide of his left hand post.

With 6 minutes remaining and a frustrating stalemate looking the most likely outcome, the Glens were handed the chance to break the deadlock. Conor McMenamin swung the ball into the Dungannon penalty area and James Singleton flicked it on into the path of Jay Donnelly. As Jay was about to pull the trigger he was taken down from behind by Ethan McGee and referee Hassan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Last season's top scorer stepped up and sent Declan Dunne the wrong way. 1-nil Glentoran. 

In added time McGee tried to atone for his error at the other end but shot well wide of the target. There had been 5 minutes of added time indicated but with over 7 minutes played there was one final scare for the Glens when the home side got one last opportunity but Aaron McCarey was not to be beaten and Glentoran headed back up the M1 with all 3 points.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Kane (c), Wilson, McClean, Burns (Murray 72), Singleton, McCartan (Purkis 83), R. Donnelly (Roy 63), J. Donnelly & McMenamin